22 of the UK’s most ambitious tech scaleups join Tech Nation programme to accelerate expansion in international markets
The four-month programme was created as part of the UK Government’s Digital Trade Network, an initiative to support UK tech businesses in Asia Pacific
Tech Nation finds 73% of UK tech companies cite international expansion as one of their top three scaling challenges, while 60% of companies are looking at expansion into Asia Pacific
Tech Nation, the UK’s leading growth platform for tech scaleups, announces the 22 companies selected to join the second iteration of the International Growth Programme, made up of two cohorts, one focused on expansion into Southeast Asia and the other to Australia. The Southeast Asia programme is in partnership with Plug and Play, a global innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley.
The four-month programme forms part of the UK Government’s export strategy for the tech sector, and was created to accelerate the growth of the UK’s best tech scaleups into international markets, while strengthening connections across the digital economy globally, ultimately creating jobs and economic growth in the UK and internationally.
The latest offering follows a successful pilot in March in which 35 UK tech companies, including SeedLegals, Circulor, Immersive Labs and ISMS.online, took part in the programme that helped them establish a footprint in Asia Pacific.
COO and Head of International at SeedLegals, Julien Seligmann, said: “International expansion is at the core of scaling our business and we are excited by the growth potential for our services in this region. The Tech Nation International Growth Programme 1.0 helped us plan our expansion into Southeast Asia. We gained the insights, knowledge and connections that have enabled us to launch in Singapore later this month”.
The programme provides companies with a bespoke go-to-market plan, as well as a community of peers who are also expanding internationally. The companies gain access to:
Industry-led, market-specific sessions focused on key challenges when entering new markets, including hiring talent, attracting new customers, and operational set up;
A carefully selected in-market mentor with specific experience and knowledge that can help them navigate the local landscape in their tech sub-sector. Mentors have run their own scaleups or have extensive experience in helping companies expand internationally.
Companies joining the programme have been selected based on strict criteria that demonstrate aptitude for scaling internationally, and were assessed by technology and trade specialists. Tech Nation received more than 190 applications for the programme.
Growth opportunity in Southeast Asia and Australia
Southeast Asia and Australia are now home to some of the most vibrant and fertile ecosystems for innovation globally, including thriving tech hubs in Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.
Tech companies in Southeast Asia and Australia have demonstrated rapid financial growth, raising $11.4bn in the first half of 2021, up from $6.1bn in the first half of 2020 (Tech Nation/Dealroom 2021). Transport tech, healthtech and foodtech are growing fast, and leading tech companies such as Singapore-based Grab, Indonesia-based Gojek, and Australia-based CultureAmp are renowned globally.
The UK’s free trade agreement with Singapore and with Australia, as well as the new Digital Economy Agreement that the Singapore and the UK agreed just last week, will enhance the synergies in innovation, tech and fintech that already exist, and open up further opportunities for UK companies to succeed in these markets.
UK tech has seen ample success in the Southeast Asia and Australia markets with 23 of the UK’s unicorns already present in the region, including fintechs Wise, Revolut, Checkout.com and GoCardless, as well as tech unicorns Hibob, Darktrace and Deliveroo.
The International Growth Programme Cohort
The 22 companies joining the programme are from right across the UK, with 50% of the cohort based outside of London. FinTech, HealthTech and EdTech are well represented in the cohort, as well as other sub-sectors such as e-commerce, AI, Cyber, PropTech and Net Zero.
Southeast Asia Cohort 2.0
BankiFi, Manchester - BankiFI transforms banks mobile and internet banking channels from something purely transactional to where an SME runs their business by combining payments invoicing, accounting, and cash forecasting.
ChAI, London - ChAI enables companies to take control of the market to protect margins and manage risk. Using AI and alternative data to predict commodity prices and determine the optimal time to purchase commodities, resulting in margin increases of 1-5%.
Datatics, Belfast - Datactics provides an award-winning self-service data quality and matching software platform designed for non-technical business users in financial services firms to measure and fix data issues.
Dyad, London - Building a healthcare-wide knowledge graph and graph machine learning platform to close the loop between costs, best practices and patient outcomes and enhance the delivery of value-based care.
Gemba, London - Gemba is an all-in-one virtual reality learning solution designed to help global companies adapt and reskill in real time. The unique simulations, tools, and games extend workplace training, connect remote teams and can be scaled fast, in a controlled and cost effective way.
Heteronomics, London - Heteronomics provides macroeconomic research and data services to financial market participants.
Oxford Immune Algorithmics, Reading - Oxford Immune Algorithmics is an award-winning AI company incubated by the University of Oxford specialising in remote immune monitoring. They have published more than 250 peer reviewed papers in top journals, in the areas of AI, Computer Science, the immune system, immunology and Physics. They apply pioneering AI backed by over 10 years of research to provide precise and individualised healthcare to everyone and help rid the world of preventable diseases.
PriceBeam, London - Pricebeam help companies optimise prices and revenue through cloud-based technology to understand consumers’ willingness-to-pay.
Squarebook, Edinburgh - SquareBook is the tech platform for equity fundraising. They are the first independent, conflict-free provider of auction technology for companies to carry out IPOs and other raises.
Wolf & Badger, London - The B Corp Certified marketplace to connect independent ethical brands with conscious consumers worldwide.
Yoello, Cardiff - Building a mobile payments ecosystem for the retail and hospitality sector, converting cash and card payments towards mobile - Yoello sells directly to businesses and enterprise whitelabel solutions.
Australia Cohort 2.0
Beacon, Leeds - Beacon is focused on the accurate detection of humans vs bots in internet transactions. Applicable to multiple verticals, Beacon is currently being focused on online advertising where it is driving game-changing results in reducing click fraud and driving significantly higher human engagement, sales and ROAS.
E-Pharmacy, Norwich - E-Pharmacy enables 3rd party businesses to offer prescription medication to their customers directly on their website or mobile app. They partner with a variety of different businesses across a vast range of sectors, from partnering with sex toy companies to cosmetics brands.
Farad.ai, Oxford - Developing an AI-powered digital twin for the energy grid.
Guide Education, London - Guide help people educate others. Primarily by training teachers in schools - 15k in 900 schools globally since 2019. They also teach those outside of the classroom to help children and other learners improve their education.
Keepnet Labs, London - Keepnet Labs protects businesses throughout the full lifecycle of email-based cyber-attacks.
Now Signage, Manchester - An online digital signage CMS that will enable you to manage and instantly update all of your digital screen content via the cloud at the click of a button. Any content, any screen, any time.
Nodes & Links, London - Nodes & Links is a technology company that works with global leaders in the project delivery space, from energy and construction to aerospace and defense. The platform uses complexity science and structured project data to help project managers simulate scenarios, identify complex risks and mitigate them in real time.
Pearlai, Newry - Péarlaí provides the world's only contactless facility management & compliance system removing the need for staff to tap, touch or scan to prove their attendance while providing detailed data used to defend potential public liability claims.
Practice Labs, Dartford - Practice Labs are a hands-on digital learning business with virtual IT labs and digital platforms to enable people to build digital and IT skills in a safe environment.
syd™ (iamYiam), London - syd™ is a science-backed, all-in-one life quality platform designed to improve health, productivity, & retention.
UK Minister for Exports, Mike Freer, said: "The expansion of the International Growth Programme will ensure there are more opportunities for the UK's cutting-edge digital and tech sectors to thrive in the Asia Pacific region, boosting productivity, jobs, and growth both overseas and in the UK."
"We're putting innovation and technology at the heart of our trade agenda, with negotiations for a Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore and the UK's accession to CPTPP going further than ever before in data and digital trade provisions."
Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black CBE, said: "Asia-Pacific offers a great opportunity for the UK's tech sector, with Southeast Asia's internet economy alone expected to grow to over $360 billion by 2025. Tech Nation's International Growth Programme – delivered through our Digital Trade Network – is a great way for the best of Britain's tech scale-ups to tap into this opportunity, and I look forward to supporting these businesses as they internationalise in this exciting region."
Founding Chief Executive of Tech Nation, Gerard Grech, said: "UK tech is going from strength to strength. In 2021 alone, UK tech scaleups raised $33bn across 1,800 deals, more than double the amount raised in the whole of 2020. With this investment comes rising ambitions, and UK tech companies are increasingly competing on the global stage from day one. Tech Nation's latest international growth programme helps companies do just that. Providing the insights, knowledge and connections that tech scaleups need to compete globally."
APAC General Manager at Wolf & Badger, Timothy Turner-Sutton, said: "Wolf & Badger is excited to be working with the Tech Nation International Growth Programme on our expansion into Southeast Asia. As a highly differentiated curated marketplace, we are looking forward to connecting our community of conscious consumers to a region brimming with creative talent and ethical brands. Only through establishing new connections are we able to continue to build a future in which every element of retail is fair and frictionless for everyone."
Head of Asia Pacific at ISMS.online, Michelle McCarthy said: "Tech Nation International Growth Programme is providing invaluable support as we expand our operations into Australia and New Zealand. The calibre of expertise and insight that is readily available, and the connections they're able to provide is extraordinary. Expanding into new markets is always an exercise in complexity, but with the Tech Nation team behind us - both in the UK and Australia, we are well-positioned to succeed. Joining the International Growth Programme in March gave us the confidence to make the jump and I have relocated from the UK to Australia to further accelerate our growth this side of the world."
About Tech Nation
Tech Nation is the leading growth platform for UK tech scaleups. Tech Nation fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies, providing them with the coaching, content, and community they need for their journey in designing the future. Tech Nation has years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. Over 30 cohorts and 900 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes. Alumni include Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo, as well as 3 of the UK’s 7 new ‘decacorns’; Revolut, Wise, and Farfetch.
Tech Nation’s support for UK tech in Asia Pacific is part of the UK Government’s Digital Trade Network. This programme follows Tech Nation’s first cohort in March 2021. In January we will be launching our next cohort for South Korea and Japan. Companies can register their interest here. Find out more at: https://technation.io/international/.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 35 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 500 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal.
For more information: visit www.plugandplayapac.com